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SD card labeling for 4K video announced

By dpreview staff on Nov 8, 2013 at 20:00 GMT

As of now there are not many consumer products, aside from a few smartphones (and the GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition), that can shoot 4k video. However the SD Association's announcement of new Ultra High Speed Class 3 (U3) card labeling anticipates it becoming more common.

It's mainly been a format for more expensive pro-level equipment because of infrastructure bandwidth, but by guaranteeing a write performance of at least 30 MB/s of constant minimum write speed (or 240 Mbps in bitrate terms), it will be easier for customers to know which cards are fast enough and potentially make shooting 4k more accessible.

Are you currently shooting 4K video? What do you think of the 4K format?  

Via: Engadget, Source: SD Association

Comments

Total comments: 50
Daniel Stehura
By Daniel Stehura (5 months ago)

Lexar Professional 1000x 128GB CompactFlash Card LCF128CTBNA1000
Writes @ 150 MB/s They need to bump up the size from SD to get the speed.

0 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (5 months ago)

The linked PDN article overlooks the $4,500 Sony FDR-AX1, which may be the most accessible or reliable prosumer 4k device to date.

Camera manufacturers need to unload existing models before, some time in 2014, unveiling more stuff that makes 4k video a reason to buy 4k screens. Some people will buy into the 4k wave, but don't envy their plight.

Key ingredients missing: affordable monitors that display 60p 4k video at 240mbps, or affordable computers with graphics cards and software to edit and render meaningful volumes of 4k video in faster than 1 frame / lifetime. These missing essentials will keep the bleeding edge very bloody.

Real reviews of existing 4k gear are scarce, or nearly impossible, for precisely those reasons.

0 upvotes
slippedcurve623
By slippedcurve623 (5 months ago)

Hmm I wonder how this card compares to an sandisk extreme pro sd? I have the komputerbay with 40mb write speed and I'm having frame drops on my BlackMagicPocket camera :-(

0 upvotes
GodSpeaks
By GodSpeaks (5 months ago)

30MB/s isn't fast enough.

The BMPCC camera shoots 1080P30 at just under 30MB/s, and 4K is 4 times larger.

You are going to need 100+MB/s sustained write speeds for 4K, unless it is massively compressed, in which case, what's the point.

0 upvotes
stevens37y
By stevens37y (5 months ago)

H.265/HEVC, VP9, Daala

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
DaytonR
By DaytonR (5 months ago)

30Mb/s will be a guaranteed minimum , the card(s) will be writing at way more than that speed, its similar to now were a lot of cards are labelled class 10 but in reality the fastest cards are now writing at more than 3 times that speed .....

0 upvotes
GodSpeaks
By GodSpeaks (5 months ago)

My point is, try finding a card that will work with real 4K.
The BlackMagic camera writes at 220Mbps and VERY FEW cards work, even many class 10 UHS cards that say they can write at 30MB/s or faster.

0 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (5 months ago)

If 30MB/s equates to 240 mbps, that is enough for 4k in MP4 formats. Cameras that shoot higher bitrates will not be hand-held, operate over 15 seconds without heat problems, or yield humongous files you'd need a mega-server to store.

0 upvotes
Archiver
By Archiver (5 months ago)

This bodes well for the rumoured Panasonic GH4K, the prosumer/indie m43 camera with all the bells and whistles of a flagship mirrorless camera, along with 4K video. But that camera is another topic altogether.

0 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (5 months ago)

Rumors slated to appear in April, 2014, with formal announcement to occur in early October. Price for the body a sure thing: $4,000.

0 upvotes
stevens37y
By stevens37y (5 months ago)

4K will be good also for 1080p. In the post processing you can crop/zoom or stabilize without warping or loosing resolution.

2 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (5 months ago)

This is a brilliant hope. But do any existing computer or software combinations do this as well as one might wish? I'd fear artifacts, or (worse) that the added time, money, and trouble would be barely perceptible on a 60" screen, or not perceptible at all on a tablet screen at 5mbps (a typical display mode, these days).

0 upvotes
stevens37y
By stevens37y (5 months ago)

Next year you get the software. Currently 4K cameras are not easiely available anyway.

0 upvotes
stormwatch888
By stormwatch888 (5 months ago)

Wooow! SD card approved for 4k recording and brand new Nikon Df doesn't even have video recording option at all!!!

3 upvotes
DaytonR
By DaytonR (5 months ago)

Isn`t it ironic, dont you think ! :)

1 upvote
GodSpeaks
By GodSpeaks (5 months ago)

Exactly what does one have to do with the other?

0 upvotes
raincoat
By raincoat (5 months ago)

Not only that, my new shoes don't even have an SD card slot!

1 upvote
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (5 months ago)

USB-3 and Thunderbolt slots will appear on shoes before they do on cameras.

0 upvotes
Frank C.
By Frank C. (5 months ago)

Personally, I'm waiting for 16K video.... you can capture an entire film in one frame

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
JWest
By JWest (5 months ago)

Rather than yet another confusing and ultimately meaningless logo, couldn't we just get the sustained read and write speeds printed on the card? If I have to explain to one more person the difference between SDHC, SDXC, SDIO, class 2, class 4, class 6, class 10, UHS-I, UHS-II, UHS speed grade 1, UHS speed grade 3... aargh!

6 upvotes
DaytonR
By DaytonR (5 months ago)

In an ideal world , yes, there would give just one read and write speed and that will be what you get but alas in the world we live in these memory cards are used in many different cameras made by a diverse variety of manufacturers and that is what has bearing on how fast or slow a card will perform ...

For example camera makers make different classes of cameras made for different market segments with the high end cameras using faster bus speeds and writing data to memory cards at blistering pace while entry level cameras from the same makers write data at significantly slower speeds therefore even if a card maker says its card will give you a stated speed the reality is that will depend on what camera or device you are using ....unfortunately thats the current case

0 upvotes
JWest
By JWest (5 months ago)

If my equipment is not capable of reaching a certain throughput, that's my problem. I just need to know what the card is capable of.

2 upvotes
Andy Moreton
By Andy Moreton (5 months ago)

Do you want to know random read/write speeds or sequential speeds? What block size is your device using since that also affects speed?

0 upvotes
Jun2
By Jun2 (5 months ago)

I don't run movie production company, 4K is overkill.

Comment edited 16 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
tabloid
By tabloid (5 months ago)

It might be to you….and you are a minority of 1.

2 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (5 months ago)

Overkill, unless you are a manufacturer scrambling to make up for sales lost to smart phones and faced with declining demand for 1920x1080 displays.

Still photos over 6mp are, arguably, also overkill. But a 6mp camera will invariably lose a sales contest with one claiming double or 10X that resolution, no matter the sensor size.

1 upvote
CharlesGordon
By CharlesGordon (5 months ago)

Good. Now that we have the cameras, the recording media, the new HDMI spec, and Netflix streaming coming soon...somebody should wake up the Blu-Ray Association from their "research" position on 4K.

1 upvote
erotavlas
By erotavlas (5 months ago)

4k? why don't they skip 4k and just go directly to 6k

1 upvote
Jun2
By Jun2 (5 months ago)

make 4K money, then 6K money.

3 upvotes
martian1
By martian1 (5 months ago)

6k is unlikely to be introduced at all, as the increase in resolution is only 22% (measured linearly - sqrt(6) / sqrt(4) = 1.22), which is just above the threshold for visibility of 20%, while the increase in required bandwidth, storage space and computing power is roughly 50% (6/4 = 1.5). The change from FullHD (2k) to 4k gives a resolution increase of 41% (measured linearly - sqrt(4) / sqrt(2) = 1.41) and therefore is highly visible.

0 upvotes
harryh
By harryh (5 months ago)

From 2K to 4 K is a lineair resolution lineair of 4 and a total resolution increase of 4. If it is visible is another story and depends of the distance you view the image. On a 85 inch LCD you must sit at less than 2 meter to see difference with 2K.

0 upvotes
harryh
By harryh (5 months ago)

Next step will be 8K. It is breathtaking beautifull. I watched a demo at IBC last year. incredible beautifull and compares with nothing else. 8K is overkill for home as 4K is also on anything less than 85 inch. 8K willl be cinema standard in 10 years.
see film.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9U7e_quvkPQ

0 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (5 months ago)

Blu-Ray hasn't even embraced 1920x1080 60p. Sony, which has a stake in Blu-ray and 4k, has instead offered a digital 4k player that doesn't even work.

It will take years to create 4k remasters of existing movie stock, some of which hasn't even been mastered to HD, and most of which will probably look no better for the trouble. So expect years of "upscaling" devices, or plan to watch a 4k "Hobbit" over and over and over.

0 upvotes
mister_roboto
By mister_roboto (5 months ago)

So would this be used for the "prosumer" 4K user, or when compactness is needed for what ever is being shot? I had always thought people would use portable hard drives to capture the data.

0 upvotes
DaytonR
By DaytonR (5 months ago)

There are already SDXC cards on the market that have 256GB capacity and the capacity will grow over the next few years so the advantage of portable hard drives is slowly being eroded.

SD cards also offer the advantage of portability - imagine on a days long shoot , which would like to lug around (1) some cumbersome portable hard drive or (2) 2 or 3 SDXC cards that can fit into your shirt pocket. :)

SD cards are also making inroads into professional cameras too , the Pentax 645D has an SD slot & so do some Phase One digital backs.

0 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (5 months ago)

Until recently, tape or hard drives were the optimum storage medium. Nothing beats flash media for light weight, speed, or durability. The biggest obstacle to 4k video will not be storage, but image stability, focus, and the scarcity of high cost of means to edit or share. Not many people can stream or display 240mbps video, and what one sees compressed to 5mbps won't look any better than stuff shot with a phone.

0 upvotes
scrup
By scrup (5 months ago)

Will the compact flash card die now! all it takes is for canon and Nikon to stop using this format. SD cards are getting faster and faster. all laptops have sd card slots.

2 upvotes
BJL
By BJL (5 months ago)

The battle to replace CF is now between SD on one side and the two new rival "post-CF" high end formats, CFast and XQD on the other. The latter two offer higher speeds and capacities than CF or SD, and so might win some of the high-end video camera market, but I suspect that SD will continue its path to overall market dominance by becoming "good enough, supported by far more computers and cameras, and a lot cheaper".

3 upvotes
DaytonR
By DaytonR (5 months ago)

Compact Flash has already started to die but its death is by slow strangulation as opposed to a sudden capitulation . CF cards probably wont be used by the time the 5D mark V arrives ....

2 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (5 months ago)

Consumer cameras are not even close to resolving 1080p if at all, we dont need 4k until they improve capture. Pros are not going to bother with SD cards, they are using SSDs which are even cheaper, more reliable, and interface with external recorders.

4 upvotes
DaytonR
By DaytonR (5 months ago)

Some Pros are using SD cards , some medium format cameras and digital backs now come with SD slots only. TBH while cheap SSD`s are tempting , the cheap (low end) ones you are probably referring to arent the best solution for Pros for a whole host of reasons .......

1 upvote
wus
By wus (5 months ago)

To me, 30 MB/s sounds more like a major step back, my old 64 GB Extreme Pro UHS I already has a write speed of 95 MB/s. Strange.

1 upvote
joexu
By joexu (5 months ago)

UHS-I only have a minimum requirement of 10 MB/s, this new standard triple that so I would expect SD card manufactures to have 100-200 MB/s cards eventually

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (5 months ago)

@wus - SanDisk Extreme Pro have a max read speed of 95MB/s and a max write speed of 90MB/s - the minimum sustained write speed is unspecified. If it's above 30MB/s, then they'll soon start to wear this mark but at the moment it's unclear.

2 upvotes
Impulses
By Impulses (5 months ago)

There's also the matter of sequential read/write speeds (like recording video), which are usually closer to max speeds, and random read/write speeds (like copying lots of smaller files or viewing them). Removable media's usually primarily optimized for the former but there's still a fair degree of variance depending on brand and capacity.

0 upvotes
domina
By domina (5 months ago)

The SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC card (I have the 16GB and 8GB versions) is Class 10 and UHS Speed Class 1 which means it is rated by the SD Association as having at least 10MB/s minimum write speed, while SanDisk specifies 90MB/s maximum write speed and 95MB/s max read speed. My measurement is a USB3 UHS-I Lexar card reader in Win7 File Explorer is about 50MB/s read, while a disk benchmark with the same card reader shows the card is capable of more than 80MB/s sequential reads. Note that the Win7 File Explorer verifies whether the data were written and read correctly, which may slow down performance a little bit, and also note that the USB3 interface isn't very good for large file transfers even though many external hard disks use it (USB3.1 scheduled for 2014 will be way better for file transfers and it will also be at 1GB/s theoretical speed).

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (5 months ago)

And so it begins. There will be lots of cameras that shoot 4K next year. Have you ever tried to edit 4K footage on your laptop? It doesn't work very well unless you have a very fast graphics card and tons of RAM.

It sounds like the Panasonic GH4 will have 4K video and be released early next year.

2 upvotes
stevens37y
By stevens37y (5 months ago)

Use a desktop PC.

6 upvotes
Jun2
By Jun2 (5 months ago)

New black Mac Pro

0 upvotes
MarshallG
By MarshallG (5 months ago)

Hey, aren't you that guy who used to say the same thing about High Definition video editing?

2 upvotes
Total comments: 50